The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Developmental class attendance becomes mandatory this summer

By Joshua Knopp/managing editor

Most teachers at the beginning of the semester say attendance is at least 50 percent of the class, but for developmental courses, that number has increased to 85.

Starting this summer, developmental class instructors can drop students from the course once students have missed 15 percent of the classes. This policy does not apply to the new Student Transition to College course.

Bryan Stewart, vice president of teaching and learning services on TR Campus, chaired the district committee that looked at developmental courses and proposed the policy change.

Stewart wants students to know the new rule isn’t iron-clad.

“It took us a while to get the verbiage of the policy, and we feel very strongly that faculty need to make this decision. So the policy reads that once you reach the 15 percent missed classes … it’s up to the faculty member to drop you,” Stewart said. “If you’re the student, and you’re communicating with me, and I know that something’s going on, I’m not going to drop you because you’ll get caught up.”

For some students, this could come as a benefit. The State of Texas will fund only 27 hours of developmental courses.

If a course is dropped, it does not count against the limit. Stewart says, however, this wasn’t

at the front of the committee’s mind when creating the proposal.

“The funding issue is always important, but the reason we did the policy is more to do with making students successful,” Stewart said. “It really has nothing to do with the 27-hour limit.”

TCC isn’t the first college to implement a similar policy.

“Most of the big nine community colleges that we’re a part of have this in place. A lot of them have that in place with academic courses as well,” Stewart said. “We’re not interested in going to that point yet.”

NE math instructor Kim Campbell, who teaches a developmental course, thinks that allowing instructors to drop students is a good idea simply because of the numbers.

“My pass rate for my developmental courses was about 50 percent. If I cut that to only include students that were there at least half the time, my pass rate goes up to 80-95 percent,” Campbell said.

“If they want to spend time and be in class, if they were willing to commit the time necessary to attending class, they’d pass.”

NE student Kaz Bridges thinks the policy has its pros and cons.

“[It] seems fairly reasonable,” he said. “At the same time, my English teacher, she can’t make people show up, so she assigns homework or has a writing assignment right there at 8 o’clock that isn’t posted online. So there are other ways of getting students to show up other than threatening them.”

Bridges felt much the same way about the potential for this policy carrying over to academic courses but recognized potential difficulties.

“I don’t know, I’m usually in class,” he said, chuckling. “It’d definitely suck, though, if you’re paying out of pocket. There’ll be plenty of people who will be upset about it.”

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